Last week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) co-chairs removed 83 provisions identified as “non-fiscal” policy items from the governor’s budget bill. (See previous post).
However, a number of policy items with a significant impact on school boards and school districts remain in the bill. Here we highlight a few of them: Continue reading Several Significant K-12 Policy Items Remain in Budget Bill
According to Wispolitics, Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) is calling for the end of the Local Government Property Insurance Fund (LGPIF), which makes property insurance available for local governments including school districts. Continue reading Lawmaker Calls For Ending Local Government Property Insurance Fund
Last night the state Senate wrapped up its work for the two-year 2015-2016 session by passing over 85 items, including:
- Senate Bill 615, a bill affecting the special needs voucher program. The bill had previously passed the Senate but had to come back for a vote on an amendment added to this bill by the state Assembly. That amendment reduces the amount of local property tax revenue public school districts can raise to offset the state aid they lose when students who reside in the district participate in the statewide voucher program. Under the amendment, school districts with resident pupils who participate in either the statewide or Racine voucher programs may raise an equal to the amount of state aid they lose to private school vouchers. Senators approved the amendment on a 19-13 party line vote.
Continue reading Senate Finishes Session by Passing Voucher Funding Adjustment Bill, Among Others
With the end of the session looming, both houses had packed floor calendars this week that included several pieces of K-12 legislation. This post examines bills that were passed on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
The state Assembly passed the following bills on Tuesday, Feb. 9:
Assembly Bill 478 Pupil Records Disclosure by Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) This bill allows the disclosure of pupil records that are pertinent to addressing the educational needs of a child in foster care or kinship care to the state Department of Children and Families, a county department of human services or social services or a trial organization that is responsible for he care and protection of the pupil. The bill responds to recent changes in the federal Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA) governing pupil records. WASB supported this bill and helped with drafting it.
Assembly Bill 545 Requiring CPR Instruction to Pupils by Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) Beginning in the 2017−18 school year, this bill requires school boards, operators of independent charter schools, and governing bodies of private schools to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary and cardiocerebral resuscitation in any health education course offered to pupils in grades 7 to 12 and to provide instruction about automated external defibrillators to pupils in grades 7 to 12. WASB was neutral on this bill after the American Heart Asssocation agreed to partially fund the costs associated with this mandate.
Continue reading Senate & Assembly Had a Busy Week
Many changes were made to the 2015-2017 state budget bill between the time Governor Walker introduced it in February and when he signed Act 55 into law on July 12. Unless you watched closely, it was difficult to keep track of what remained in the budget and what was removed.
Below are five items affecting schools that were for a brief time in the state budget, but were subsequently removed by the Legislature. None of the items listed below are in Act 55, although you may have seen references to them as the budget worked its way through the legislative process. Continue reading Whatever Happened to that Item in the Budget?…
This afternoon the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC), on a unanimous 16-0 vote, adopted a motion by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), which delays for 2 years the ending dates for renewal of existing policies and for filing claims under the Local Government Insurance Fund (LGPIF).
This should provide an additional two years for existing policy holders to seek coverage alternatives and for new insurance providers to enter the marketplace and offer coverage to those who may be interested in transitioning from coverage under the LGPIF. This increased competition should help to keep rates lower during (and after) this transition period. Continue reading JFC Grants Reprieve (Sort Of) to Local Gov’t Property Insurance Fund
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is scheduled to vote Friday on the elimination of the Local Government Property Insurance Fund (LGPIF) as proposed by the governor’s budget (See Budget Paper #400). If you have coverage through the LGPIF now is the time to take action and contact your legislators (particularly if they are members of the JFC) to urge them not to eliminate this fund. Communicate how your district’s coverage costs would be impacted.
The WASB opposes the elimination of the LGPIF. We are very concerned that some school districts, particularly those districts with isolated rural schools that have no municipal water supply or professional fire-fighting service nearby may be unable to secure affordable coverage, or worse, may not be able to obtain any coverage through the private insurance market. A significant concern is that these districts may need the LGPIF as, essentially, an insurer of last resort.